Give all cars registered before March 31, 2023 SST exemption, not based on booking date, gov't urged –

When the government announced that the sales tax exemption for cars will not continue beyond June 30, it opened a leeway for consumers by allowing all cars registered before March 31, 2023 to enjoy the SST exemption, provided the booking was made before today (July 1).

The move was lauded by many, including industry players and consumers, as few expected the sales tax waiver to continue, given that it started back in June 2020 and the government has given three extensions since. The finance ministry said that as of June 20, Malaysians have enjoyed a whopping RM4.7 billion in saved sales tax from 868,422 vehicles since the scheme started.

Now, there’s a veteran industry player calling for all cars registered before March 31, 2023, to receive the SST exemption, and not just those booked before today. According to Datuk Tony Khor, Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Association of Malaysia (FMCCAM) president, such a move will avoid confusion among different levels of stakeholders, from processing the booking, to delivery by dealers and registration.

“Since the government allows cars booked on or before June 30 to enjoy the tax exemption as long as they are registered before March 31, 2023, why not just extend the tax exemption deadline to the same day? Let car owners be entitled to the exemption as long as they register their cars by that date,” he told The Star.

He added that although FMCCAM welcomed the government’s decision to allow registrations until March next year, the booking deadline caused many to throng car dealerships yesterday. And this late rush of bookings will cause logistical issues.

Khor explained that with the nine-month period between booking and registration deadlines, dealers would have to wait for customs clearance and confirmation if each car was entitled to the exemption, before registration can be done.

“This process will take time, especially if there is a dispute over the actual booking date. We hope the finance ministry will allow all vehicles registered on or before March 31 to get the exemption,” he said.

Is this a case of give an inch and take a yard or bagi betis nak peha, or does is the plea justified? Perhaps there’s some extra work and documentation needed on the part of the dealers, but for consumers, we’ve had a big window of over two years of no sales tax now, and your purchase really shouldn’t have been left to the final week, or for some, the final day. Did you take advantage of the SST break? What’s your views on this?

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